What is a dowry? meaning explained

THE final season of Netflix’s hit show Bridgerton has viewers asking what a dowry is.

The old-fashioned payment system was prominent in the early 1800s.

Dowries were common in the 18th century - that's the era Bridgerton is set in


Dowries were common in the 18th century – that’s the era Bridgerton is set inCredit: Unknown, clear with picture desk

What is a dowry?

A dowry – or dowry – is an ancient tradition found in many cultures, religions and time periods.

It is a gift of substantial money that the bride or groom presents to their future spouse upon marriage.

Santhosh Bhau – a Brahmin Hindu priest – says the dowry “serves as a gift from the bride’s family to the groom’s family as a friendly gesture of welcoming them into their home”.

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“The custom is that you never go anywhere empty-handed.”

The term originated during the Roman Empire when the bride’s family provided the groom with his family’s dowry to help offset the cost of living to host their daughter.

It can serve as a gift to the in-laws or as an insurance policy for the bridge in case she decides to leave her husband and is something to take with her in the event of a divorce.

However, this changed over time and it has now become a financial requirement.

Dowry can be in the form of money for material goods such as real estate or land.

It is rarely used nowadays and when given it is usually used to help the newly married couple to build a new future together.

They were commonplace in ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and throughout Africa and Asia.

They fell out of fashion in Victorian England, i.e. between 1873 and 1901.

Are dowries illegal in the UK and US?

According to a 2014 article, the practice remains legal in the UK The Independent.

According to the BBC, it is commonly used in the UK’s Asian community.

Dowry is not recognized as a law in the United States, except in Louisiana info please.

What is a bride price?

Bride price or Bridewealth or Bride Token is another term for dowry.

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In Hindu culture, a bride’s family usually pays the dowry, while in Muslim cultures the opposite is true.

The amount to be paid depends on the culture and factors such as class and income. What is a dowry? meaning explained


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